11 Words That Will Make You Sound Super Smart

When someone constantly uses the filler word "like," you probably think they don't sound so smart.

But have you ever met someone who's babbling "like" after "like," and then suddenly inserts a zinger of a vocabulary word such as "sycophant," which means a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage (or "obsequiously," which means full of or exhibiting servile compliance)? All of a sudden, you're looking at this person in a whole new light. Maybe they're smarter than you thought they were.

Just for fun, we asked our Facebook fans to name the words they think make someone sound, well, sagacious (uh, smart). Have any words to add? Let us know in comments. We included the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition below each suggestion.

1) "Paradoxically," said Lee Enry Erickson.
Def: Of the nature of a paradox; not being the normal or usual kind -- a paradoxical pulse -- paradoxical drug reactions.
— par·a·dox·i·cal·i·ty noun
— par·a·dox·i·cal·ly adverb
— par·a·dox·i·cal·ness noun

2) "Oxymoron," said Maria Regina Encarnação.
Def: A combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings.

3) "Ennui," said Mayda Tapanes.
Def: A lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest.

4) "Beleaguered," said Cindy Jarrett, who added "plethora" and "oligarchy" as well.
Def of beleaguer: To cause constant or repeated trouble for (a person, business, etc.): examples: the lack of funds that beleaguers schools -- beleaguered the castle for months.

5) "Exacerbate," said Ginger Amelia Perry.
Def: To make (a bad situation, a problem, etc.) worse.

6) "Didactic," said Kat Wood.
Def: Designed or intended to teach people something.

7) "Anathema," said Suzanne Fluhr.
Def: Someone or something that is very strongly disliked.

8) "Logistics," said Michael James Cooper.
Def: The things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people.

9) "Quixotic," said Lea Thompson.
Def: Hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical.

10) "Non sequitur," said Fred Crandall.
Def: A statement that is not connected in a logical or clear way to anything said before it.

11) "Verisimilitude," said Lauren George.
Def: The quality or state of being verisimilar -- having the appearance of truth.



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